Today was supposed to be just a 30-minute follow up that turned into a 2-hour appointment...not waiting but in actual time spent with doctors!
With facing a triple athrodesis surgery looming over my head, it hasn't been a very good week. Heck, I'm still sore from yesterday's Botox injections with 6" needles. I asked him almost pleading with him if he did this kind of surgery. He doesn't or at least hasn't done one in the last ten years. I really hate breaking in new doctors or refill in old doctors I hadn't seen in a while. Just too much stuff has gone downhill in my life in just 6 years medically. In my ortho's case, it's been that long.
I told my foot doctor about the various appointments I'd had between neurologist, brace maker, and orthopedist. He shook his head and asked, "Do you really want to go through all that?"
You can guess my response to him. As a preacher I know you shouldn't cuss, but I did.
He then told me as he saw it and broke it down for me...
- The AFO is causing the pressure sore. That will continue to be a problem.
- The AFO cannot have any further alteration.
- My insurance would not pay for a new AFO but would pay for this surgery.
When I nodded my head, he responded with another cuss word that starts with bull----! He called in the three other doctors in the practice for a consult and second opinions too. They basically said the same thing after examining my foot and ankle. I was half scared and the other half almost sick with concern about what would happen next.
- Call the brace maker and find out what ICD (diagnosis) codes were used for the original brace. He did right there and then.
- He rattled off some additional diagnosis codes that might work. None of them had to do with my stroke.
- He'll call me Monday whether the new codes circumvent the 5-year rule.
- If I do need surgery he would recommend an Achilles tendon release. He would do it like he did my Achilles rupture on the other foot. I would be nonweight bearing for four weeks instead of two months and I would go into a less confining AFO after surgery. Total heal time is ten weeks instead of six months. When I mentioned that I couldn't use crutches this time, his response was a knee wheelie thingy or wheelchair.
- He has an agreement with the company for a 30- day trial period. If the one he orders doesn't work he can order another one or build one himself. Yes, he's a certified brace maker as well.
When I explained to him that I just bought a $225 pair of diabetic shoes and had them altered with lifts and insoles. With the new AFO none of that would be necessary. He just patted me on the shoulder and said, "If this new AFO works like it's supposed to I'll replace your shoes free of charge. The main thing is to get you better."
When I asked him the cost if the insurance didn't pay. He said not to worry about it. He'd sell it to me at his price about $300 cheaper and take payments.
I could have cried. And people don't understand with all that is going on in this Murphey Saga why I feel blessed. Now is there any doubt?